A normal desktop computer such as the one that you have at home or in your office runs a user friendly OS and applications focused on day to day desktop uses. A server on the other hand is an entirely different beast. Meant to manage network resources, a server is dedicated to only those types of tasks.
A server is specially engineered to process data 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. It is designed for longevity and reliability by comparison to our desktops and home computers. This specialization of course gives way to features that are not available (or even necessary) to the average user.
What Constitutes as Server Hardware?
One of the common decisions small businesses make is between shared hosting, virtual dedicated or a dedicated hosting service. A dedicated hosting service would mean a higher cost but would include a number of benefits to the customer. While a shared hosting solution is much more affordable it leaves some things to be desired. Overall, that is a topic to discuss in another article (like this one).
If you were to decide to build a dedicated server your concerns would be 4 fold:
- Shape and size – For smaller businesses I would recommend using an entry level server. A tower configuration is best
- Processing Power – Don’t skimp. Buy a server processor. It will boost your performance and therefore positively affect the speed of data passing through your system.
- Memory – You are going to want as much as you can afford to buy.
- Storage Capacity – Do not use IDE. SATA or SCSI are ideal.
The choice between operating systems is not an easy one. Depending on your use, there are options suited to different tastes, tasks and duties. For file servers try to choose an OS that members of your team will be comfortable with.
For most small businesses a desktop just won’t work for these tasks. Most small businesses would not want to trust their data on a consumer level machine. If your data is important you should focus on making sure its reliably accessible and safe. If you are seeking information about server colocation, virtual cloud servers, or even shared hosting space, ASPnix has various options available.